Japan-China Relations

April 2, 2023
Foreign Minister Hayashi shakes hand with Mr. Qin Gang, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China
(Photo) Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

From 10:30 on April 2 local time, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, during his visit to Beijing in the People’s Republic of China, held a Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (for approximately 180 minutes including 60 minutes of a small-group meeting) and a working lunch (for approximately 45 minutes) with H.E. Mr. Qin Gang, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. The overview is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Minister Hayashi, referring to the meeting between Prime Minister Kishida and President Xi Jinping in November 2022 where the two leaders affirmed the building of a “constructive and stable Japan-China relationship,” stated that while Japan and China share various possibilities, they face many challenges and serious concerns, and that they are now standing at a critical juncture. He also pointed out that both countries have immense responsibilities for the peace and prosperity of the region as well as the international community, and that he hoped that both sides will continue making efforts to put the common understanding shared by the two leaders into practice. Minister Qin indicated that he was of the same view.
  2. Minister Hayashi made a protest regarding the recent incident of the detention of a Japanese national in Beijing and strongly reiterated Japan’s resolute position on this matter, including the Japanese national’s swift release.
  3. Minister Hayashi reiterated Japan’s serious concerns about matters such as the situation in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands, and the intensification of Chinese military activities near Japan which include joint exercises with Russia. The two ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining communication, including in security-related areas. The two ministers shared appreciation for the resumption of the Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs, which is to be held in person for the first time in four years, and welcomed the operationalization of the hotline between defense authorities of the two countries under the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism. The two ministers also shared the view on promoting and implementing the “2008 Agreement” regarding resource development. Minister Hayashi highlighted the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also clearly reiterated Japan’s position regarding the discharge of ALPS treated water into the ocean. Moreover, he again expressed Japan’s serious concerns with regard to situations including in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
  4. With regard to cooperation in the economic field such as the green economy, including environment and energy efficiency and conservation, and medical care, nursing care, and healthcare areas, as well as people-to-people exchanges, over which the leaders of the two countries shared their views at their meeting in November 2022, Minister Hayashi pointed out the need to ensure an appropriate environment, and strongly urged China to ensure a transparent, predictable, and fair business environment and guarantee the safety and legitimate economic activities of Japanese companies. He also expressed strong concerns regarding increased attempts to force technology disclosures and transfers of technology. He also strongly called for the prompt lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products.
  5. Minister Hayashi referred to Prime Minister Kishida’s recent visit to Ukraine, and called on China to play a responsible role in maintaining international peace and security. The two ministers also exchanged views on the regional situation, such as the response to North Korea including the abductions issue, the nuclear and missile programs, cooperation in the forum of the United Nations, and also on international issues, including climate change and development finance, among others.
  6. The two ministers exchanged views on the importance of the trilateral Japan-China-Republic of Korea processes, and they also concurred to resume trilateral processes, including at the leader and foreign ministerial levels.
  7. The two ministers concurred on continuing close communication at all levels, including at the leader and foreign ministerial levels.

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